Rishi Sunak has appointed Steve Barclay as the next Health Secretary, replacing Thérèse Coffey, who was given the role under Liz Truss’ government.
But how long was Thérèse Coffey in the role and who is Steve Barclay? Here’s what you need to know.
How long was Thérèse Coffey Health Secretary?
Thérèse Coffey served as Health Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister as part of Liz Truss’ government between 6 September 2022 and 25 October 2022.
She was then appointed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 25 October 2022 by new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Dominic Raab was then appointed as Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice on 25 October. He previously held the same role between 15 September 2021 and 6 September 2022.
Who is Steve Barclay?
Taking over from Coffey as Health Secretary is Steve Barclay, Conservative MP for North East Cambridgeshire.
He previously served as Health Secretary from 5 July 2022 and 6 September 2022 when Sajid Javid stepped down from his position in No 10 under Boris Johnson’s former government.
He was born on 3 May 1972 in Lancashire, England, the youngest of three brothers. He attended King Edward VII School, an independent school situated in Lytham St Annes, and, after completing his A levels, Barclay joined the British Army on a Gap Year Commission.
He attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst where he served as a Second Lieutenant with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers for five months.
Later, Barclay read history at Peterhouse, Cambridge before going on to study law at the College of Law, Chester. Barclay qualified as a solicitor in 1998 and from there worked as an insurance company lawyer for AXA Insurance, as a regulator for the Financial Services Authority, and as Director of Regulatory Affairs and then Head of Anti-Money Laundering and Sanctions at Barclays Retail Bank.
Barclay is married to his wife Karen and together they have one son and one daughter.
What has his political career been like?
After Barclay left university in 1994, he joined the Conservative Party and was twice an unsuccessful parliamentary candidate - first for Manchester Blackley in 1997 and again for Lancaster and Wyre in 2001.
In 2008, he was selected to replace Malcolm Moss, the outgoing North East Cambridgeshire MP, and was subsequently elected at the May 2010 general election. Following that election, Barclay was selected by his fellow MPs to become a member of the Public Accounts Committee, which is responsible for overseeing government spending.
In November 2018, he was appointed as the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, replacing Dominic Raab after he resigned. He held the role until 11pm on 31 January 2020, when the Department of Exiting the European Union was shut down as the UK left the EU.
The roles that he has held throughout his career are:
- Government Whip (Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury) from July 2016 to June 2017
- Economic Secretary to the Treasury from June 2017 to January 2018
- Minister of State for the Department of Health and Social Care from January to November 2018
- Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union from 16 November 2018 to 31 January 2020
- Chief Secretary to the Treasury from February 2020 to September 2021
- Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office from September 2021 to July 2022
What is his voting record like?
You can see Barclay’s voting record, as well as other MPs, thanks to websites like They Work For You.
According to his profile on the site, Barclay votes on the vast majority of issues in the same way as his fellow Conservative MPs.
His voting record includes:
- Generally voting against laws to promote equality and human rights - two votes for, nine votes against and two absences between 2011 and 2019
- Consistently voting for phasing out secure tenancies for life - five votes for and zero votes against between 2015 and 2016
- Voting for raising England’s undergraduate tuition fee cap to £9,000 per year
- Consistently voting for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits - 47 votes for, zero votes against and four absences between 2010 and 2016
- Consistently voting for mass surveillance of people’s communications and activities - three votes for and zero against in 2016
- Generally voting against measures to prevent climate change - three votes for, 18 votes against and three absences between 2011 and 2020
- Almost always voting against UK membership of the EU - three votes for, 18 votes against and three absences between 2016 and 2019